Monday, 4 October 2010



Sandeep Shete
prefers to have a climax to the short stories he writes. “There should be some sort of closure,” the Pune-based ‘amateur writer’ says. So he must have been eagerly waiting for the climax of the Commonwealth Short Story Competition 2010 in which Shete participated with his story Being Reasonable. The climax was reached recently when the results were out and Shete’s story was recognised by the eminent jury as a Highly Recommended entry.

Being Reasonable deals with the “daily harassment suffered by Pune’s commuters at the hands of the city’s autorickshaw drivers”. The idea to write a story on this subject emerged when one of Shete’s friends narrated her plight to him. “I wrote the story from the point of view of the driver,” the writer informs. And as he wrote, Shete tried to bring out the local flavour in English “without taking too much of liberty” in using the Puneri lingo. “I knew the competition was tough, with some many entries from the 54 Commonwealth countries. So, I read the winning entries form previous years and tried my best to match the standards,” Shete adds.

But what made this marketing professional write stories in the first place? Shete goes back to his school and college days when he used to write. The full-time job had put that creative self to the back burner for a while. “But I was feeling the need to explore my talent,” he asserts. So began his writings for several publications. Several recognitions came in the way. “But this one from the Commonwealth Foundation will boost my confidence.” he asserts.

When asked, Sethe refers writers like Salman Rushdie, Amitav Ghosh, Yann Martel and Malcolm Gladwell as his favourites, and possibly the literary influences. “As a writer I want to take the middle path between serious and light writing,” he says, adding, short story is his preferred format, “because it is less time consuming and novel is a bigger commitment”. Still, he wants to write novels one day, I learn from Sethe who is now working on other short stories and an anthology.